On the subject of timing, Zac Bowden tweeted:
I'm told Microsoft wants to launch Surface Duo before the Galaxy Fold 2 is announced. So, before August 5th? We're getting close. Assuming plans don't change, Surface Duo should start shipping in less than 2 months.— Zac Bowden (@zacbowden) June 12, 2020
Zac's long feature on WC includes screenshot examples from the Duo Emulator running the various Microsoft app properties. Here a snippet:
Microsoft Outlook is preinstalled on Surface Duo and is the premier email and calendar experience for the device. It's also what manages your phone's contacts, with hooks into the Surface Duo's settings app that lets you synchronize your contacts stored with Microsoft through the Outlook app.
On Surface Duo, the Outlook app has two icons for email and calendar by default. The calendar icon shows the current date and provides quick access to the calendar portion of the Outlook app. The main Outlook icon will take you to email, just as Outlook normally does on other smartphones.
Microsoft Outlook supports spanning, with your inbox on the left display and email contents on the right display. Tapping on an email when spanned will let you read the email on the right display without leaving the email inbox. Spanning when in the calendar will spread out the calendar across both displays. It also supports drag and drop.
Microsoft's To Do app for Android also supports spanning across both displays. When spanned, tapping a to-do item on the left display will showcase its contents on the right, giving the user access to different options for that specific to-do item without leaving the main to-do list.
You get the idea. Do read the whole article.
I'm continuing to monitor the Surface Duo emulator (for anyone to try, but mainly for developers) and will report back if it gets to the stage that I can do anything interesting with it!
WindowsLatest also has Duo launch timeframe discussion, including proof that Duo support is already in the Your Phone system now built into Windows 10:
Microsoft is also working on a new update for Windows 10’s Your Phone app that will allow you to manage and control Surface Duo from your desktop.
Microsoft is testing a new version of the Your Phone app for Windows 10 that can differentiate between traditional phones and the dual-screen Surface Duo. I’m also told that Your Phone app will support other dual-screen devices as well and the integration won’t be limited to just Surface Duo.
Of course, the initial promise of the 'Surface Phone'/Andromeda was that it was going to run Windows 10 on ARM (evolution of Windows 10 Mobile), but that was scrapped over a year ago and this is Android all the way, though with Microsoft's own launcher and applications. As to whether it will become a 'must buy' for readers here, I'm not very sceptical. Aside from the dual screen novelty, the single camera will be unadventurous, the bezels are large, and we heard some time back that it may launch without NFC (for Google Pay) or Qi (wireless charging). Add in an expected high price of over £1000 and this will be a company executive plaything, I fear.